STEAM sensor kit lets kids explore real-world science

November 14, 2019 //By Julien Happich
Sensor kit
The Piper Sensor Explorer kit released by STEAM education start-up Piper (San Francisco, CA) is aimed at kids eight and above, offering them to explore real-world science concepts.

The new kit packs a colour sensor, an ultrasonic range finder and a temperature sensor, two four pin diode jumper cables and three “Sensor Profile” trading cards with explanations, graphics and diagrams for quick reference. This package is completed with the company’s interactive software with three new worlds in Piper’s StoryMode, the Raspberry Pi edition of Minecraft, that explain Sensor Explorer through game-based play, three new PiperCode projects and the Component Library.

Kids will explore RGB values by scanning colors in the physical world and then detect them digitally on the screen. In StoryMode, they will learn how the eye detects specific colors. Piper’s characters, Pip and Piperbot travel to Chameleon Giant, a new colorless world because a large “eyeball machine” is not calibrated correctly.

By engaging with the sensor, kids discover how an eye deciphers colors with cones as a metaphor for how computers read RGB. Solve color puzzles to advance in the next level and learn how RGB values reflect a specific color hue. With the ultrasonic range finder, young learners will use sound waves to calculate distance and explore the measurement of the distance of objects to engage with the environment.

In StoryMode, Pip and Piperbot travel to the new world Post No. 34 ½ where measuring distance, rates and frequencies are explained. The PiperCode project “Security Zone” will be a chance to learn how to code a security alarm for the Piper Computer Kit and Sensor Explorer, protecting projects and creations.

With the temperature sensor, one will discover how to measure the temperature of a room, objects and the weather in different units and understand how temperature is a measure of the motion of particles in a system. In the StoryMode world, Terresense, Pip and Piperbot discover challenges surrounding the water cycle. Explore real-world science concepts of phase changes including condensation, freezing, evaporation and melting and use the Temperature Sensor to change the environment. Learn how

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